Job Description

Palestine Legal seeks a 2-year legal fellow to join Palestine Legal’s team in providing direct legal assistance to and advocating on behalf of people who face suppression for expressing views in favor of Palestinian rights.

Michael Ratner was instrumental in creating Palestine Legal, and was a founding board member until he passed in 2016. Michael made it his life’s work to fight for the rights of the oppressed and dispossessed internationally, including victims of US imperialism and militarism in the U.S., Latin America, and around the world. From his legal and political home at the Center for Constitutional rights, he spearheaded litigation efforts to free indefinitely detained Guantanamo prisoners, worked with Latin American freedom movements to get accountability for human rights violations, and championed litigation and advocacy efforts to get accountability for Israeli human rights violations. Michael modeled for us the kind of fearless lawyering in service of movements for justice and freedom that Palestine Legal strives to provide. 

The Fellow will be at the center of Palestine Legal’s intake, legal advocacy and litigation work. The Fellow will work in collaboration with Palestine Legal staff, partner attorneys and activist groups, clients, and others in challenging the suppression of Palestine advocacy. They will also communicate about our legal work with the media and engage with different constituencies through public speaking and Know Your Rights workshops.

The ideal candidate for this fellowship is a recent law graduate (0-3 years) who thrives in a small, dynamic, collaborative and professional environment, is passionate about social justice issues and movement lawyering approaches, and has exceptional public speaking, writing and relational skills. The Fellow will report to a senior staff attorney.

The strong preference is for the Fellow to be located in Palestine Legal’s Chicago or New York offices.

The Fellow is an exempt position. Exempt employees are expected to work the appropriate and necessary time in order to complete key assignments and related tasks on schedule.  

ABOUT PALESTINE LEGAL:

Palestine Legal is an independent organization dedicated to protecting the civil and constitutional rights of people in the US who speak out for Palestinian freedom. Our mission is to bolster the Palestine solidarity movement by challenging efforts to threaten, harass and legally bully activists into silence and inaction.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Conduct intakes and determine scope of advising and representation for different clients.

  • Represent & advocate on behalf of clients, and work on broader advocacy campaigns, in coordination with legal team.

  • Engage in public education work, including producing resources, conducting Know Your Rights workshops, and speaking at public events.

  • Develop and implement legal, advocacy and litigation strategies, in collaboration with the legal team.

  • Assist with researching and drafting reports on the suppression of Palestine advocacy, including annual reports and other publications.

  • Supervise interns and volunteers.

  • Communicate with the media about project work.

OTHER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Build relationships with partner organizations and allied attorneys to grow network of support.

  • Contribute to project communications, including case blogs, social media and other media opportunities.

  • Assist with other project areas, including development and project planning, as needed.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

  • JD from accredited law school and licensed and in good standing to practice in at least one state, or awaiting bar results in at least one state.

  • 0-3 years of experience working in a relevant area of the law (First Amendment, national security, civil rights, criminal law, legislative policy, etc.), and preferably providing direct representation.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:

  • Familiarity with the legal suppression that Palestinian rights activists face in the U.S. and understanding of the Palestine-Israel issue in general.

  • Exhibits a strong commitment to the mission of Palestine Legal, and to the lawyering model that Michael Ratner embodied.

  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and human rights issues.

  • Knowledge of relevant legal issues (First Amendment, students’ rights, national security, civil rights, etc.).

  • Exceptional legal research and writing skills.

  • Excellent public speaking skills with diverse audiences and with the media.

  • Ability to connect and communicate with activist communities, build trust and maintain relationships.

  • Strong relationships with diverse legal and other communities and colleagues.

  • Strong organizational skills.

  • Keen attention to detail.

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively, multi-task, set priorities and meet required deadlines.

  • Self-motivated, resourceful, and creative at problem-solving.

  • Thrives on creative advocacy and strategizing of legal & non-legal solutions in the face of the complex challenges facing our clients and the Palestine solidarity movement.

  • Integrity and sense of humor.

ORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS:

The Michael Ratner Justice Fellow will report directly to a Senior Staff Attorney.  S/he/they will supervise the work of interns, volunteers, and partner attorneys.  S/he/they will also communicate directly with coalitions of partner attorneys and advocacy organizations, building and maintaining organizational and personal relationships.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

Significant travel is required within the U.S. and occasionally internationally, via plane or other means of transportation, up to 12 times a year. Some lifting may be required (e.g. carrying luggage, computers, resources for audiences, etc., up to 50 pounds on occasion). Candidate must be able to sit for long periods of time and type on a computer and must be able to communicate frequently by phone and electronically.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

This position may be home-based and/or work from a shared office space.  There may be 1 or more people in an office space (details to be determined). When traveling, work will be performed in public spaces, at conferences, often in hotels or universities, and will require transportation between different locations for presentations and lodging.

SALARY AND BENEFITS: 

This is a full time position. The beginning salary for the minimum level of required experience is $55,000, with annual merit-based increases according to an established salary scale. Excellent health and other benefits, including paid sick, holidays and vacation are also provided in a work culture that encourages a healthy work-life balance.

TO APPLY: 

Please email a resume, legal writing sample (3-5 pages) and cover letter explaining your interest in the position, why you think you’d excel in the position, and how you think you can contribute to Palestine Legal’s mission to info@palestinelegal.org, subject line “MR Fellowship Application.” Applications will be reviewed until January 11, 2019, or until position is filled. We will not consider incomplete applications. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to respond to individual inquiries. The projected start date is September 16, 2019.

Palestine Legal, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.